Rising Above Apathy

Devotionals from Leslie Ludy and the Set Apart Girl Team

Rising Above Apathy

by Leslie Ludy | November 18, 2013

Jim Elliot wrote, “Wherever you are, be all there.” 

Never have I been more challenged in applying this principle than with my four young children. It’s so easy to be with my children physically, yet disengaged from them mentally and emotionally. When you spend countless hours conversing with preschoolers and toddlers, it’s easy to feel a little brain-dead and look for a way to “tune out.” For the past few years, my conversations with my children have largely centered around things like animal noises, (Mama, what does a camel say? Um, I’m not exactly sure, buddy...let’s talk about what a cow says!), reminders about the true purpose of food (eat your eggs please, and don’t throw them at your brother!), and discussions on the basics of proper social behavior (we don’t hit others in the head with our squishy toy lizard, Harper.) 

In other words, it’s pretty basic stuff. It can be rather mind numbing at times. I often find myself wanting to “escape” at various moments throughout the day – just to tune out the squawks, screams, and childish chatter all around me and pay attention to something else for a little while, something more intellectually stimulating. It’s easy to just tell my children to “go play” while I indulge in an enjoyable activity of my own, like calling a friend, checking my email, or surfing the Internet for some interesting new recipes or decorating ideas. None of those pastimes are wrong in themselves, but when I’m with my children, God has made it clear where my focus is to be – on my children. 

Proverbs 31:27 says:  She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. And Titus 2:5 exhorts mothers to be “keepers of the home.”

When God tells us to keep faithful watch over the ways of our household, it means a constant vigilance, a never-ending watchfulness, like a solider guarding a castle. There is no allowance for idleness or “let’s just go brain-dead” moments. 

The souls of my children hang in the balance. 

If I “unplug” and tune them out, I leave them open and vulnerable for the enemy to gain access into their lives. It might be the cruel words of another child at the park – am I paying attention and ready to protect them from destructive taunts or worldly influences? Or am I off in another world, chatting away with another mom or checking email on my phone while their little hearts and minds are being assaulted? It might be a behavior pattern in one of my kids that is not honoring to God. Am I willing to tackle it with the very best of my energy? Or do I simply pretend not to notice it because it takes too much stamina to apply truth to the situation and lead my child in the way of righteousness?

God asks me not to give one moment of my day to idleness; not to “check out” mentally and emotionally when I’m with my kids, but to maximize every moment with my children and continually point them to truth.  

If God has given you an assignment that you may not always “feel” like doing, whether it’s raising young children, diligently applying yourself to your studies, or working a menial job, I exhort you to rise up in His strength, and give yourself fully to the task that is before you no matter what your emotions may say.

Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”  What a great reminder that even the tasks that don’t seem glamorous or exciting are still a way to glorify our King, when we give Him our very best at every moment!